The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is offered in Sociology and may be obtained by full-time and/or part-time study. Normally, all Ph.D. students complete a minimum of 12 credit hours in graduate courses in Sociology. See the academic calendar for details of entry requirements.

The PHD should successfully demonstrate the candidate’s competence to undertake independent research work and should contribute significantly to knowledge in the field of study. The contribution is expected to be of a high scholarly merit.

Students entering the PhD program undertake scholarly, advanced studies in Sociology. In this program, students will:

  • broaden and strengthen their skills and knowledge in social theory and the methods of social research;
  • develop their capacity to conceptualize, plan, and complete a research program;
  • enhance their ability to think and respond to social issues critically and analytically;
  • improve their writing proficiency; and
  • acquire skills vital to their professional development.

There are several stages to the PhD: coursework, written and oral comprehensive examination, dissertation proposal, departmental presentation, ethical review or research, research, analysis and dissertation writing, and finally oral defence of the dissertation.

Normally courses are taken in the first two semesters of full-time study. The comprehensive examination reading lists are provided following course completion and the candidate has a minimum of three months to prepare for the written and oral examinations, working in consultation with their Supervisor/Co-supervisors. Once examinations are successfully completed, the research proposal is written and presented in a departmental seminar. Upon successful completion of MUN’s ethical review process, the candidate undertakes their research, analysis and writing of the dissertation, in consultation with their Supervisor/Co-supervisor and committee members. The dissertation is submitted for examination and the candidate undertakes a dissertation oral defense with examiners and Supervisor/Co-supervisor. Final revisions are made and the student submits the dissertation.